Novartis has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding share capital of the UK-based ocular gene therapy company Gyroscope Therapeutics, bolstering its gene therapy portfolio.
Novartis will make an upfront payment of $800 million and potential additional milestone payments of up to $700 million. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions as well as regulatory approvals.
Novartis and Gyroscope Therapeutics will continue to function as separate and independent entities until the transaction is completed.
GT005 is designed as an AAV2-based, one-time investigational gene therapy for geographic atrophy secondary to AMD that is delivered under the retina. GT005 aims to restore balance to an overactive complement system, a part of the immune system, by increasing production of the CFI protein.
Complement overactivation can cause inflammation, which damages healthy tissues, and it has been linked to the onset and progression of AMD.
The complement system's activity is regulated by the CFI protein. CFI production may be increased in the hopes of reducing inflammation and maintaining a person's vision.
The safety and efficacy of GT005 for the treatment of GA secondary to AMD is currently being evaluated in a phase 1/2 clinical trial and two phase 2 clinical trials. GT005 has received Fast Track designation from the FDA for the treatment of people with GA.
There are no approved treatments for GA, making it one of the most significant unmet needs remaining in retinal diseases.
Gyroscope also has several additional assets in its pipeline in early discovery for retinal diseases.
“With our own pioneering research in ocular gene therapies and our experience gained from bringing Luxturna to inherited retinal dystrophy patients outside of the US, Novartis has a well-established expertise in ocular gene therapies that will position us well to continue developing this promising one-time treatment,” Marie-France Tschudin, President, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, said in a company news release.